That the following Climate Emergency Action Plan Working Group recommendations BE FORWARDED to the Civic Administration for consideration:
a) a special advisory committee should be created to actively participate in the Climate Emergency Action Plan development and implementation. The committee should consist of representation from the City’s Climate Emergency Action Plan team, representatives from advisory committees including EEPAC, First Nations and politicians. The committee structure will facilitate continuous, long-term consultation with key stakeholders and involvement of expertise available to the City through its advisory committees;
b) the impacts of climate change to the Natural Heritage System should be prioritized and considered holistically, not as an add-on to anthropocentric objectives; plans to protect and enhance the Natural Heritage System under climate change conditions should be explicitly included in the Climate Emergency Action Plan;
c) the Natural Heritage System should be fully harnessed as part of the City’s approach to climate change mitigation, such as the sequestration of carbon by existing green spaces including wetlands, prairies, meadows, forests and mature woodlots, etc. (not only via tree plantings), management of stormwater under extreme weather events and vegetative cover to provide evapotranspiration, reduced temperatures and reductions in runoff and flooding;
d) to recognize the potential utility of the Natural Heritage System for climate change mitigation, we must better understand current baseline conditions. To begin, EEPAC recommends that the City assemble and present existing baseline data to EEPAC to support the quantification of carbon sequestration by the Natural Heritage System, as well as inventory of the amounts and quality of wetlands, woodlots and other natural lands currently remaining within the City of London. Only with baseline data can an effective and successful Climate Emergency Action Plan with specific targets and accountability be achieved. Using this baseline data, the impacts of climate change on the Natural Heritage System should be modeled under various warming scenarios (e.g., using Global Circulation Models). Further, models could be used to predict the extent to which local climate change effects can be mitigated by Natural Heritage features (e.g., quantifying carbon sequestration and stormwater absorption by green spaces);
e) a framework should be developed to systematically monitor the impacts of climate change on the Natural Heritage System over time, with checkpoints to assess whether the City is on track to meet its climate targets and determine if further measures are warranted; and
f) the role of EEPAC in the further development and implementation of the Climate Emergency Action Plan should be clarified. EEPAC wishes to remain involved in consulting with and supporting the City on the implications of the Climate Emergency.